[Sca-cooks] Hanging head to ask.....

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Thu May 17 20:11:44 PDT 2007

Defining cookbook is the question.
The first printed English cookbook is the Pynson volume of 1500.
A Noble Boke of Festes Ryalle and Cokery is the title.
The sole surviving copy is at Longleat. Constance Hieatt has done the 
work on a facsimile edition
of this with notes, glossary, all the bells, and whistles
with recipes by Brenda Hosington and Hieatt. It ought to be out in late 2007
but it may be 2008. ( Things move slowly at Longleat.) As soon as I hear 
it is
available, I will let people know. I am on a list to get the details as 
soon as they are known.

In terms of manuscripts,
David mentioned the Anglo-Norman collection. Those are dated as late 
13th-early 14th
in the Concordance. About the same time or a bit later is the MS BL 
Additional 46919
which is first quarter of the 14th century. That's the collection known 
as the Diversa Cibaria
in Curye on Inglysch.
Actually if he wants a project and wants to play with medieval English 
recipes, you might
give him a copy of the Concordance of English Recipes Thirteenth through 
Centuries that was published last year. Devra has copies.
I'll be happy to send him a signed bookplate even as a retirement present.


Heleen Greenwald wrote:
> Hubby wants to know what the oldest English cookbook is and all I  
> could reply was....
> "uhm...eh..... uh......" Could someone please enlighten me?
> Oh.... he just asked about Old (Olde) English cookbooks? Dates for  
> the oldest one.... Oh Gawd help me he's now walking around the house  
> talking to himself in Old English....wait.... he's on to The Twilight  
> Zone......"It's a COOKBOOK...."
> This guy is going to be retired (AND HOME WITH ME) all day in 7 days.  
> 18 hours, 9 minutes........  Any room under that rock?
> Phillipa
I'm not aware of any Old English (Anglo Saxon) cookbooks. The earliest
English cookbooks I am aware of are the "Two Anglo-Norman Culinary
Collections" (published in Speculum, vol.61, no.4, October 1986). They date
back to the early fourteenth century.

David (SCA Thomas)

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